Quality of life: a research gap in teledermatology


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Abstract

An important outcome in healthcare, and in particular for dermatologic healthcare, is quality of life. Whereas the literature is well represented by quality of life assessments in dermatology, very little information is available that specifically addresses teledermatology's impact on quality of life. This gap in our knowledge of teledermatology is noteworthy precisely because of the importance that quality of life plays in dermatologic disease and healthcare delivery. The goal of this review is to briefly outline the concept of quality of life and its importance to dermatology, describe the different type of instruments that are used to assess quality of life, and to review studies that implemented teledermatology interventions and made quality of life assessments. The available literature has shown that teledermatology interventions do result in improved quality of life, and those changes correlate with improvements in disease severity and clinical course. Integrating quality of life assessments in future evaluations of teledermatology interventions would be valuable to provide a more comprehensive depiction of teledermatology's impact on patients receiving dermatology care via telemedicine.

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